The business case for off-grid renewables as a means to expand rural electricity access continues to grow steadily, as a result of steady cost reductions and technological innovation. Yet the deployment of either mini-grid or stand-alone solutions will depend also on stable policies and regulations, along with dedicated funds and de-risking instruments for renewables. Such were the key findings of the third International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference (IOREC) held in Nairobi, Kenya in autumn 2016.
In order for off-grid renewable energy solutions to take off and to become the preferred energy access choice, investing in technical and business innovations and accelerating investment-friendly market conditions is necessary. Case studies from our Members demonstrate that such innovations are instrumental to bring costs down and ultimately improve the quality of products and services through better reliability. Better customer protection will, in turn, pave the way to a wider range of electricity services and thereby open new markets.
Although investments have grown in recent years, they are far from sufficient to reach universal energy access goals. To address this need, ARE, together with Energias de Portugal (EDP) and the African-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP), is organising the ARE Energy Access Investment Forum in Lisbon on 22-23 March 2017. You are very welcome to join the Forum to discuss market conditions, key policy initiatives, business opportunities and to showcase financial and technical instruments supporting rural electrification projects in developing and emerging markets.
The Forum is gaining traction and is backed by relevant supporters including ALER, our renewable energy partner for Portuguese-speaking countries.
I look forward to meeting you in Lisbon.
ARE Executive Director